Archive for January, 2008

New Telly Arrives

January 27, 2008

The TV successfully turned up yesterday, and today I’ll be mounting it on the wall. This could either result in the destruction of a wall, accidental damage through gravitional pull to the television or a nice looking TV hung above a fireplace. Of course, after mounting it, the complex process of attaching a cable box, video player and PS3 will take place, and that could result in much frustration.

An addendum: while CityLink managed to ship a 25kg package from Amazon to my door in less than 24 hours, Royal Mail Special Delivery was not so successful with a PS3 game. Now I can reclaim some of my guaranteed delivery fee.

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New Toys

January 26, 2008

Not toys for Ella, but toys for me! Our old telly (which I bought for the World Cup in 2002) is behaving badly, with ghost images on the screen, and bad colours. Therefore, before Christmas, we decided to buy a new TV in the sales. We also decided we would mount it on the wall above the fireplace in the living room, freeing up a bit of shelf space, and making it more central, and hence easier to see from one of our sofas. After some research I chose the Toshiba 37X3030D. We don’t need anything bigger for the room, but a bigger screen should make watching easier for Hannah with her dodgy eyes. The original budget was £1000, but this good telly in the size we want is only around £650, so that freed up some budget for something else. Well, when buying a HDTV, it makes sense to have some kind of HD source (and Wightcable don’t strike me as being the fastest adopters). So that meant a choice between HD-DVD or Blu-ray. In the end I opted for Blu-ray using a Playstation 3, because at least you get a games console and media centre should Blu-ray lose the format battle. The PS3 costs the same as any other Blu-ray player, so it’s a bargain in many respects.

The PS3 has been in the house a while now, having been ordered two weeks ago, and the telly finally arrives today, having had to reorder it through Amazon because Play fiddled around with their security checks on my card transaction and by the time they were satisfied the TV was out of stock.

Tomorrow I hope to use some of Barbara’s partner, Brian’s, help and knowledge to mount the TV on the wall. I’m very much looking forward to entering the HD world (Spiderman 3 and Casino Royale being part of the PS3 bundle from HMV, though my bundle seems to have been discontinued), and playing anyone online with the PS3 (only got Motorstorm at the moment, as recommended by Steve).

Ella at Nearly Seven Months

January 26, 2008

Ella is now sitting really well. She isn’t at the stage where she can pull herself up to sitting at all, but when put down she’ll sit for a few minutes before doing something, such as such suddenly looking around, which makes her fall over. Falling over can surprise her somewhat, and lead to a few tears, but it is required so that she learns when she is about to fall and how to correct that. Tough love, and all that. It’s great to see her being ever so slightly more independent. A baby sitting up on her own seems a lot more like a proper person, if you see what I mean.

One thing she really likes at the moment is bouncing up and down on her feet. If you pick her up and put her down on the ground so that she is in a standing position, she jump on her feet. It’s quite amusing, and she loves it.

She continues to eat well and is fairly open to new flavours. Occasionally she goes ‘bleuch’, but she is probably eating more vegetables than I do! Admittedly paper is one of her favourites, but that is really to be avoided. Her latest weight is 16lb 13oz, and she is heading up towards the 50th percentile, meaning she isn’t so small anymore. Her teeth continue to come through, and, to her credit, she isn’t making much fuss (at the moment) about teething, a relief indeed.

I would hazard that her sleeping is a bit more reliable now, but Hannah says that Ella is spending less time in the day napping, so it’s a trade off, and a sign that Ella is getting more used to the grown-up rhythm of sleeping at night, and being active during the day (not that we grown-ups always feel active all day long). It’s been a while since Ella has woken up twice in the night, and there are frequent times when she sleeps all the way through, which is great.

Teething Part 2

January 18, 2008

Just a quick update to say that in general she is doing really well, and not being very disturbed at night. There is still plenty of drooling and red cheeks on Ella’s behalf, but she has been successful in pushing through her first tooth.

Choice Christmas Picture

January 13, 2008

There has been a request of a picture of Ella from Christmas, and this is my choice.

It Does Happen

January 13, 2008

Occasionally I do some DIY. Yesterday I got around to filling a hole in the wall at the back of our house where a pipe has been put. It’s was quite large, and quite inaccessible because it has a fence panel in front of it, and is down at ground level. I decided to fill it with mortar, with some newspaper to give some structure and prevent the mortar disappearing into the void under the house. Hannah especially wanted me to blog this because she made a number of good suggestions, which I’ll list:

  • Put down a dust sheet and some bin bags on the patio for mixing up the mortar and water to prevent making a mess of the patio. This was successful in as much as I didn’t make a mess of the patio.
  • Break a brick and use it to fill up part of the hole. This was after I had built up a base of mortar. The big problem with the idea was that the fence didn’t allow enough space to insert anything bigger than 4 inches across. I had already unattached the fence panel at the bottom and I managed to reach along behind the fence, while pulling it away, to shove the brick part in the hole.

I haven’t checked to see if the endeavour has worked, I’ll do that later today. I think there is some risk of my mortar mixture having been too dry, and in fact I have filled the hole with dry sand and concrete.

New Year, New Challenges

January 10, 2008

Well, we’re back home now, having returned last Friday, through a monsoon south of Birmingham. I’m back at work, and it’s continued to rain all week. English winters are such fun.

On Sunday there was a family get-together at Barbara’s. Rachel and Tony came across from Portsmouth, so this was Uncle Tony’s first time seeing Ella. I won’t say he was overjoyed at getting some baby time, but he did seem to like her. They were treated to a ride in our car with a flat tyre, having to make a stop at a garage to blow it up. It was a little embarrassing bumping over the speed humps knowing that it was damaging my wheel. That’s a trip to the garage this weekend. The meal at Barbara’s went well, and everyone was overfed. There was a ghastly incident though, as Ella was lying on a couch behind Hannah and I, and halfway through the meal she cried out. I turned and saw her dummy jammed in her mouth, not in the orientation it is meant to be, rather lengthways between her gums. I have no idea how she managed to jam it in there, and I had to use quite a bit of force to pull it out, as well as opening her jaw up a little more. It was all over quickly, but Ella was upset and got some calming breast milk to help soothe her. We’ll not be using the dummies for youger age groups anymore.

Since then Ella has experienced her first rusk. She tries to take part in her spoon feeding, but is discouraged at the moment to avoid mess, especially as she rarely hits her mouth when she does get to play with the spoon. So Hannah said she was quite surprised when she was given the rusk that she got to put something that was food in her mouth without it being taken away for adult control. Also, she has had her first drink (of water) from a baby cup. Again, Hannah said that she took to the with gusto.

Recently, though, Ella has been somewhat grouchier. We’re not sure if it is because she hasn’t been out for a walk in her pram since we got back (bad weather), or because she is frustrated by the fact she can’t move around. She is more aware of her surroundings than she is capable of interacting with them. She is rolling from her back to her front all the time now, even at night, but she doesn’t really roll the other way (though we have seen her doing it). This leaves her stranded, like a very small whale, on her belly, whimpering a bit because she can’t return to her back with her hands free.

On Wednesday Ella was weighed and is now 16 lbs 1 oz, meaning she has put on a pound and a half in the last four weeks. She is now on the 25th percentile.

Time for me to dash off for the new season of ER.

Tired and Teething

January 3, 2008

I predict that there will be a number of blog updates on teething, indeed I may bore you with them. Last night was quite wakeful for Ella (and us) during the first half. It was another day when she saw lots of people – Hamish and Christine, and then Chris’s parents Nan and Charlie. This was all over in Edinburgh, so there was the added complication of a couple of car journeys. Ella was great while meeting all these people, and gave lots of smiles and obviously enjoyed herself. She seemed to have a moment of realisation looking in a mirror at Nan and Charlie’s and looking at it and then at Hamish stood behind us, and back at the mirror, then Hamish again and so on. I think it clicked that what she could see in the mirror was what was around her.

Anyway after that busy day, we put her down to bed, and she was okay for an hour or so, but then started grouching. A number of trips to her cot to put the dummy back in, or give her Calpol didn’t settle her. Even Hannah going to bed and feeding her didn’t help. When I came to bed we tried some controlled crying, or whatever it is called, when you just leave your baby for a set period of time (5 or 10 minutes) to see if she’ll settle and go to sleep. It took a few goes of that, interspersed with cuddles and Ashton and Parson’s powder before she finally went off to sleep at about 12:20am. She did wake up an hour later, took a feed and went back to sleep, and slept for a good long time after that.

She does have the other symptoms of teething: red cheeks and drooling, so we are fairly sure that the process has begun. As I say I am sure I’ll make mention of it again.

While we’ve been here Ella has managed to pee and poo on her Granny during a nappy change, and did the most enormous burp that turned into vomit last night. Doing lots of proper baby things.

Happy 2008 from Glasgow

January 1, 2008

Happpy New Year to all. I hope 2008 is good for everyone.

We kicked it off in style in Glasgow at Jongleurs with Miri and Mark. Ella spent the night being watched by her Granny and Grandpa, and we stayed at Miri’s flat in the West End of Glasgow. We had a good time, drank rather a lot, and I’ve spent today recovering. Ella was well behaved for her grandparents.

We drove up here, to Clare’s, on Sunday. It was a fairly easy trip, as 450 miles journeys go. Ella slept almost all the time in the car, and was fed and changed during our two stops. She did have a bit of a grouch just before we came across the border, which was sorted by an extra stop to warm up some milk, and Hannah moving into the back seat to give her some attention. The start of the journey was much easier than usual because I had taken my mainland car across to the island, so we didn’t have the trauma of shifting lots of luggage, car seat, pram and presents down the the Red Jet and off it in Southampton. It also meant that we had a set time to get the ferry, whereas we usual have a target, and end up not being ready in time for it, or the next or the one after.

We’ve had a lovely day today too. Mark and Miri came back to Clare’s with us and had New Year’s dinner. I had to sneak off for a sleep in the afternoon. Ella, though, had trouble going down at night, probably a mixture of teething and over-excitement. Her behaviour was rather like Christmas night.

Tomorrow we’re off to Edinburgh for the day to visit Hamish and Christine, and Chris’s parents, Nan and Charlie. It’ll be another off routine day for Ella, and we’ll see how she copes. Generally, apart from this evening, she has been very good.

Is there space for some philosophical comments about 2008? Mmm, I don’t think so. I’ll just say it’ll not be as big for us as 2007 (no house moves, and no babies being born, and no job changes for me), but I am very much looking forward to watching Ella develop into a little girl. By the end of the year she’ll be walking and talking and really showing what sort of person she is going to be, and I’m sure she’ll be smashing.